a list compiled by Alex Kasman (College of Charleston)
|As part of a planned experiment, a man falls into a black hole and escapes through a wormhole. (Don't worry, it is only a backup copy of his mind on an artificial body specifically designed for this task.) The story explains Lorentz transformations the way I always like to: as demonstrating that there is a sort of "conversion" possible between space and time. People sometimes object when I describe it that way, thinking that it may look like that mathematically though "of course" space and time are different. But, this story illustrates what would happen if this mathematical metaphor was real and taken to the extreme:
|(quoted from Approaching Perimelasma)|
When the mathematicians describe the passage across the event horizon of a black hole, they say that the space and time directions switch identity. I had always thought his only a mathematical oddity, but if it were true, if I had rotated when I passed the event horizon and was now perceiving time as a direction in space, and one of the space axes as time, -- this would explain everything. Stars extend from billions of years into the past to long into the future; perceiving time as space, I see lines of light. If I were to come closer and find on of the rocky planets of Wolf 562, it woud look like a braid around the star, a helix of solid rock.
First published in Asimov's Science Fiction magazine (January 1998) and reprinted in Impact Parameter.
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|(Note: This is just one work of
mathematical fiction from the list. To see the entire list or to see more
works of mathematical fiction, return to the Homepage.)|
Exciting News: The 1,600th entry was recently added to this database of mathematical fiction! Also, for those of you interested in non-fictional math books
let me (shamelessly) plug the recent release of the second edition of my soliton theory textbook.
(Maintained by Alex Kasman,
College of Charleston)